Woodbridge: Readymix concrete plant reopens as new builds pick up

The re-opening of a Cemex readymix concrete site at Woodbridge is a sign that housebuilding in the a

The re-opening of a Cemex readymix concrete site at Woodbridge is a sign that housebuilding in the area is on the up - Credit: Archant

A mothballed readymix concrete plant has been re-opened as momentum builds in the UK’s construction sector revival.

In an optimistic sign for the local building trade as well as for the wider economy, the wrappers were taken off the CEMEX site at Woodbridge last week in response to growing demand for the product.

The plant, which employs seven or eight staff drafted in from other Cemex sites, was closed last year because of a building slump in the area.

Because of the nature of the product, readymix concrete only travels a small number of miles, normally around eight to 10, so the reopening means there has been a steady pick-up in trade within a short distance of Woodbridge.

On its first day the plant produced 170 cubic metres of readymix for a contract in Rendlesham, equating to about 27 lorry deliveries, and a further 600 cubic metres have been secured for Felixstowe Docks.

“It’s very much a local industry,” said Cemex regional director Stuart Keighley.

“The building trade was very quiet. There was no real housebuilding going on and far less development locally.

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“It was the downturn in the building trade that led to the need to close it. It was just not sustainable.”

He added: “It’s very busy now. We are noticing things throughout our supply chain.

“I think we’ll be getting busier during October and November.”

The costs in bringing plants back into operation is fairly small – about £2,000 or so – he said.

The increased demand for concrete was a good indicator of the wider building market, he said, as it was used a lot in the early stages of building work, such as to build foundations.